Saturday 30 May 2020

Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis (TNT)

The Daily Telegraph in December published an interview with Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, the 1980s party girl now turned devout Catholic. She is friends with Pope Benedict XVI and Steve Bannon. Her views shock the man interviewing her, who I am sure is not a Catholic and presume isn't a conservative.
She believes, for example, that abortion is murder and that the State should pay a living wage to women who stay at home to have, and bring up, children - and the more children they have, the more money they should get. She believes not that there are too many people on the planet but too few, and is doubtful of the existence of man-made climate change. And, of course, she believes that the European Union is a 'Godless Tower of Babel' and, as such, doomed to collapse.
... Western civilisation is "on the brink of collapse", she tells me, because it has trashed Christian values. "We don't worship any more. We've beaten the cold, darkness, hunger, disease. We have everything and don't seem to need God any more. And as soon as we stop worshipping, we start eating ourselves up, just like the serpent that eats his own tail."

This means that she disagrees with Steve Bannon - President Trump's former White House chief strategist - a three-time-divorced Catholic who is often in Rome these days to muster the forces of populism, and whom she knows well. She describes him as "like a butterfly: here today, gone tomorrow. That's the American way."

He thinks cultural Catholicism minus God is enough, like countless other conservatives who "have not gone anywhere", she adds, because they have abandoned "proper belief in the Judaeo-Christian faith. We have to come back to our faith. And we have to worship God first of all. And not money and not sex, because those are the gods of today: money and sex, and holidays."

New faiths - not based on God - spring up all the time such as "global warming and transsexualism", she argues, but like sex, money and holidays, she believes, they are "a spiral downwards".

Yes, there are indeed 1.2 billion Catholics on the planet plus 1.8 billion Muslims who share many of the same views, but even so, I wonder, how can she dare say such stuff in this day and age?

"The dominant ideology of the past 50 years has told us that we have overpopulation and that we are bad for nature and nature is better off without us. But they haven't looked at the satellite pictures of the globe - the most simple thing - which shows you that three-quarters of the globe is green. You can fit every single person on the Earth into Texas in a house with a garden."

Abortion and euthanasia, she is adamant, are a far bigger threat to mankind than global warming. "We are totally degenerate. We kill our own. We have over 40 million abortions - killings - every year. In Holland and Belgium we are now killing our old people, who run away to Germany because they are scared to be euthanised. And yet in the West the number-one problem discussed in the media is whether a man and woman should go to the same toilet. Our society is totally finished."


  1. I won't argue if her hypothesis, that regaining faith and practising religion, worshipping God, would restore European culture, save it from oblivion.

    I would just argue that faith, once lost, cannot be artificially resurrected. It makes no sense going through the motions, obeying the precepts, going to mass, like automata, without believing. And how would one restore belief? By training children in kindergardens and primary schools, teaching them the "old" values? And who is to teach them, as "nobody" (well, almost) believes in what they would teach, when the opposite of what they teach is everywhere and accessible? The following analogy does not intend to equate religiousness and totalitarianism. The communist propaganda tried hard to indoctrinate us in schools but it had no chance convincing us that we lived in earthly paradise with the greatest wheat yield per hectare when we had the proof of the opposite in every grocery or bakery. In the same way teenagers have the "proof" of the opposite of religious life on every high street, on every screen, website, TV channel. "Ochiul vrea, inima cere".

    I would argue that belief comes from some sort of mystical shudder, from a sense of void and loss, from an aspiration to redemption, from a quest of meaning. And this makes me actually doubt her thesis: I don't think that the majority of pre-1950/1960 people "believed" in this profound sense. I think that there was simply more humility, people didn't think that they were the centre of the universe in the same measure they think it now, there was also more conformity, brought maybe by less social tolerance, more mutual scrutiny, less "freedom". It is not clear to me if faith and lack thereof is the "driver", i.e. the cause, or it simply correlates with the other aspects and they all "drift" together in time, driven by something more obscure, a kind of Zeitgeist, an organic dynamic process in which all variables are both cause and effect of all the others.

  2. El Museo del Barrio in Upper Manhattan announced that it has decided not to honor Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, a conservative German socialite and prominent art collector, as part of its 50th anniversary gala later this year, according to a report in the New York Times. Some had argued that her right-wing politics and past comments about race and AIDS made her an inappropriate honoree for the institution, which is devoted to Latinx and Latin American art.

    In an open letter, a former El Museo board member and curator, Yasmin Ramirez, described the prospect of honoring the princess as “a desperate move to attract attention and money to a historically underfunded museum.”

    Some critics of El Museo’s plans pointed to an interview she gave on a 2001 German television show, in which she said that AIDS rates were high in Africa because “blacks like to copulate a lot.” (A 2008 Times article said she had tried to amend that statement around that time “by explaining that the reason for this was the continent’s intense heat.”)